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It takes a robust tech ecosystem for founders to thrive.

For Real, it starts with the desire to contribute to an ecosystem in a way that can benefit others as much as we benefit ourselves. It’s this collaborative mindset that inspires us to launch initiatives that lay, or build upon, the foundations of rapidly growing tech hubs in Canada, and wherever else we may go.

Orbit

After launching in 2007 as a geographically-focused seed investor, Real saw firsthand that the earlier we invested, the more portfolio founders benefited from proximity to our team. While we have expanded the stage and location of our investments, that belief in the benefit of proximity hasn’t changed and it forms the basis of our Orbit investment strategy: launched in 2017, initially in the Province of Quebec, and backed by long-term ecosystem development partners, la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), le fonds de solidarité FTQ (FSTQ), Desjardins capital de risque and Québec’s government via Investissement Québec, OrbitMTL provides capital and stage-appropriate support to Quebec-based early stage companies.

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FounderFuel

FounderFuel was launched in 2011 and is Canada’s leading accelerator program. We created FounderFuel because we recognized that bringing entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and industry experts together wouldn’t just accelerate our startups, but would also increase the connectivity of tech ecosystems within Montreal, Canada and North America – to everyone’s benefit.

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Front Row Ventures

Students are in a unique position to challenge the status quo. Many of the world’s most successful companies were launched on university campuses, but student entrepreneurs often lack the capital and connections to launch world-changing ventures. That’s why we’re powering Front Row Ventures (FRV), Canada’s first student-run VC fund. FRV backs visionary student founders while training the next generation of investors and startup operators. After a successful pilot launch in Montreal in 2017, FRV is now expanding into eight cities across Canada, from Vancouver to Halifax.

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Rep Matters

Rep Matters is a video interview series created by Phil G. Joseph, a young Black changemaker, that aims to provide a space for leaders to discuss the Black experience within the Canadian startup community and serve as a catalyst to increase Black representation in tech and VC. Real Ventures proudly supports this project because we recognize the lack of Black representation, and its negative effects on the diversity of our ecosystem. By listening to Black voices, and taking action to create a startup ecosystem more representative of the Canada we live in today, we all benefit.

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Notman House

Before Notman House became the backbone of tech innovation in Montreal, the city’s tech scene was diffuse. Events and activities built incredible energy, but there was no single place where it could be channeled. In 2010 Real co-founded the OSMO Foundation, the founder and owner of Notman House, a 30,000 sq ft campus for entrepreneurs and community builders. Today, Notman House is where the city’s tech community comes together, and where we and our city’s startups, tech organizations, community organizers and evangelists work and thrive.

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